Tagged: Jason Giambi

“It is high, it is far, it is gone”…

Hello, he’s back…

I had been curious about how Jason Giambi felt about his impending return to the Bronx this weekend.  I read an article in The Denver Post where Giambi talked about how special New York was and what it was like to play on the same field as DiMaggio, Gehrig, Ruth, Mantle and others.  What he didn’t know was the type of reaction that he would receive.  The New York fans can be tough (obviously) but I really expected a warm reception for the Giambino.  Unlike his departure from Oakland (the first time), he didn’t leave New York at the prime of his career and while Oakland had wanted to re-sign Giambi, the Yankees had clearly moved on.  So, his departure was really the team’s decision and not his.

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News

Giambi had some difficult years in pinstripes and of course his stay will always be marred by the steroid admission.  But he persevered and I felt that he played hard through the duration of the contract.  I am thankful for the years that he gave New York and I certainly wish him the very best in the sunset days of his playing career.

I just wish that he wouldn’t have homered off A.J. Burnett in Friday night’s game.  But I guess if you are going to throw a 2-0 meatball, I guess that Ozzie Smith could have hit a home run.  Well, on second thought, Giambi’s home run was not the reason the Yankees lost so maybe it was good for old times sake.  “G” didn’t get to play at the new Yankee Stadium so he deserved a chance to shine at the new grounds.  He’ll be back.  After his playing days are over, it is a certainty that he’ll get an invitation to future Old Timer’s Days.

Joe Torre knew when to get out…

If there is one former Yankee that I want to succeed more than any other, it is Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.  The entire Dodger situation with Frank McCourt’s divorce, the team’s financial struggles and the league’s intervention just sickens me.  It is hard to believe that the two teams struggling the most right now are in the nation’s top two markets.  The Dodgers franchise has been one of the top organizations throughout the history of baseball, and they deserve so much better than the current situation.

Don Mattingly

Ben Liebenberg/US Presswire

If the Dodgers resort to a fire sale next month, I am fearful of the adverse impact it will have on the perception of Mattingly as a manager.  It would be hard for anyone to succeed under those conditions.  I don’t know that I’d want to see Mark Cuban as the next Dodgers owner, but I am hopeful that McCourt will sell the team to an owner or ownership group that would move quickly to restore the respect for the great franchise.

Stay Cash, stay…

I read Buster Olney’s piece that Brian Cashman may walk after the end of the season.  His contract expires this year and there will be no discussion of an extension until after the season.  I can’t imagine the Yankees without Cashman as the GM.  I couldn’t begin to fully understand the daily pressure the guy must be under, but I have to believe that working for Hank and Hal Steinbrenner is significantly better than what it must have been like under George Steinbrenner.  If Cashman is looking for a break, I could see him walk away for a year or two.  He’d certainly have his choice of opportunities when/if he decided to return.  A new challenge or opportunity can be good, but it wouldn’t be the Yankees.  That’s not an arrogant statement, but just a simple observation that the Yankees are the most storied and legendary team in baseball (sorry Dodgers!).

I could see the desire to build a winner without the perception that you have the most dollars to play with.  But I hope that Cashman ultimately decides to stay in New York and continues his long run as one of the greatest GM’s in Yankee history.

Enjoy the weekend!…

–Scott

You Traded Me for Randy Freakin’ Johnson?…

The answer to the question is an old friend from the past…

 

Bill Kostroun/AP

 

It was no secret that the Yankees were actively seeking to fill an open spot in the rotation and the word was that it would be accomplished by year end.  As it were, the Yankees wrapped the package up prior to Christmas.  The result is the return of Javier Vazquez….

When I first heard the deal, I was a little upset at what the Yankees gave up (Melky Cabrera, Michael Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino).  However, after having time to let it sink in, I am okay with it so long as the Yankees can come up with a decent alternative for left field.  Brett Gardner is not an every day player, and at this point, neither is Jamie Hoffmann.  Perhaps Gardner can be part of a platoon, but the other half is not currently on the roster. 

Vazquez was a Yankee for one brief season.  But it was a very painful season.  For years, we had grown up knowing that the Boston Red Sox had been suffering from the Curse of Babe Ruth prior to our own births.  However, in 2004, the Red Sox finally shook the curse and defeated the mighty Yankees despite being down 3 games to none in the American League Championship Series.  The defining moment occurred in Game 7 when Johnny Damon hit a grand slam off Javier Vazquez.  The win propelled the Red Sox to the World Series and an eventual championship that could have belonged to the Yankees.  After the season, the Yankees packaged Vazquez in a deal to Arizona that netted Randy Johnson.  At the time, Vazquez didn’t want to leave the Yankees but “public opinion” was clearly against him and the Yankees fans didn’t cry too much as Vazquez headed for the Sonoran Desert. 

Nevertheless, spin forward 5 years, and Vazquez has proven consistency and durability.  2009 was perhaps his finest year with Atlanta Braves as he went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA.  Injuries, including pink eye, kept 2009 from being even more successful.  When you are throwing around names like Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Aaron Harang, and others, I have to admit that Vazquez is the best case scenario.  Admittedly, I would have preferred a Bronx return by Ted Lilly but there probably wasn’t any way that the Chicago Cubs were going to let him go.  The Yankees tried hard for Cliff Lee, but the Phillies felt they needed to send Lee as far from Philly as they could given the backlash they’d receive by dealing him.  Understood.  So all things considered, Javier Vazquez as your number 4 starter is a pretty good situation.  I’d take Vazquez in a head-to-head match up against John Lackey so I think the move was a good counter to Boston’s free agent signing.

 

 

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal Constitution

It is ironic that Damon’s departure is met by Vazquez’s return.  It is equally ironic that Vazquez and DH Nick Johnson will be teammates given they were once traded for each other.  Hopefully, this ends the Yankees’ attempt at a 2003-04 reunion tour.  We really don’t need to see a return performance by Jason Giambi.  Sorry, G, I loved you in pinstripes but that day has passed. 

 

AP 

 

The Yankees did manage to secure a bullpen part with the Vazquez trade.  They also acquired pitcher Boone Logan.  Gotta love the name.  Logan is a lefty but is probably more of a one batter specialist.  The Yankees are hopeful that Damaso Marte will continue at the level he displayed late in the season.  Logan was acquired by the Atlanta Braves in the same trade that brought Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox.  So, once again, Logan and Vazquez are intertwined…and hopefully the duo will prove to be very successful in the Bronx.  Vazquez is a free agent after 2010, so it’s possible that this is another one-and-done Yankee performance, but it is my hope that he proves he belongs in pinstripes.

 

 

The Yankees also signed free agent catcher Mike Rivera (formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers).  So long as Rivera is slotted for the third catching spot, I am okay with the move.  I feel that Francisco Cervelli deserves the primary shot to be Jorge Posada’s backup, but a veteran influence like Rivera can’t hurt.

 

 

So, now the question is what the Yankees will do about left field?  The Vazquez trade brings the payroll to nearly $200 million which is the alleged budget for 2010.  Perhaps they’ll need to offload Chad Gaudin and/or Sergio Mitre (among others), but room can be made for a capable left fielder.  Alas, it won’t be Matt Holliday or Jason Bay (or even Johnny Damon),  but I have confidence that GM Brian Cashman won’t leave the team shortchanged.

 

 

All these moves do have the potential of disrupting team chemistry so I am hopeful that the team is able to mesh in spring training.  From a character standpoint, I have no reservations with Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, or Javier Vazquez, so I think they’ll be fine.  But as they say, the proof is in the pudding…

 

Deuce! Advantage, T.B.D.!…

 

The showdown to be decided among a battle of aces…

IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** CC Sabathia

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

 

As Julia (of Julia’s Rants) indicated to me, this is the first time that one of our Yankees-Red Sox wagers will be decided by the final game of the series.  In today’s match-up, CC Sabathia will take the hill in opposition to Boston’s Josh Beckett.  At stake?  Only my pride!  😉

 

 

Today’s game will decide whether I will be cruising around the San Francisco Bay Area wearing a Red Sox hat or if Julia will be walking across Boston Common in a Yankees hat.  Well, maybe not Boston Common, but she’ll be wearing an interlocking NY cap in the heart of the RSN…if the Red Sox lose.

 

Julia, you might want to improve your wardrobe while you are at it!

 

 

The Red Sox bats have been hot during this series.  Despite allowing 20 runs to the Yankees on Friday, the Red Sox still managed score 11 runs themselves, including 4 in the bottom of the 9th.

 

Elise Amendola/AP 

 

They carried over the offensive charge into Saturday’s game in the absolute annihilation of A.J. Burnett.  During the off-season, one of the factors cited for signing Burnett was his success against the Red Sox.  At that time, he had been 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 8 career starts.  Yet, this year, Fenway Park has been very unkind to A.J.  He’s 0-2, with a 14.21 ERA in three games at Fenway.  Yikes!  That doesn’t bode well for October success.  Perhaps A.J. should go to Montoursville, PA to consult with Mike Mussina to find a way to beat the Red Sox in their own backyard.

 

Theodorakis/Daily News

 

I knew that Saturday’s game would be very difficult for the Yankees.  Generally, whenever the Yankees score 20 more runs, they struggle offensively the next night with runs of 3 or less.  True to form, the Yankees only managed 1 run against Boston rookie Junichi Tazawa.

 

Winslow Townson/AP

 

I don’t know what to make of the alleged communication problems between Jorge Posada and Burnett.  Hopefully, they’ll resolve their issues and get on the same page.

 


Best Buddies.JPG 

 

So, it all comes down to today’s game at Fenway Park.  Hey Julia, Game On!  J

 

 

PLEA FROM ONE OF OUR OWN…

Here is a copy of the latest post by the Rockpile Ranter.  He needs our assistance in finding his daughter…

I need your help

8/20/09

First off let me apoligize for the lack of baseball entries. Although I couldn’t be more proud of the Rockies right now I can’t concentrate on writing as my mind is elsewhere.

Most of you that know me know my oldest came out to stay with us a couple of weeks ago. She was here for five days and on the sixth day she walked into Nederland, CO to make a phone call and we haven’t seen or heard from her since.

Her taking off unexpectedly is not uncommon, but her leaving without any of her belongings is. I really don’t know what to do so I’m reaching out to my friends and the baseball community and asking if you see my little girl please let me know.

                                         This is the poster the police have created for her. 

                                                                   Missing/ EndangeredNaomi Chilcote.jpg

Naomi Chilcote

03/05/87 White Female

5’07” tall 125 pounds

Blond hair Brown eyes.

Last seen near Nederland, Colorado on 08/03/09

Naomi was involved in a violent Domestic Violence Incident in Reno, Nevada on 07/15/09 with a suspect named Robert Amata DOB 04-05-58. Amata is possibly associated with the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club and has a history of Obstruction, Resisting Arrest, Dangerous Weapons, Drug Possession, and various Domestic Violence offenses. Naomi is needed to testify against Amata in the case in Nevada and her family is concerned for her welfare in that she disappeared from their home in Colorado without taking any of her belongings. If Naomi is contacted please check on her welfare and contact Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ali Thompson at 303-441-3643.

I realize this is a shot in the dark but it’s all I’ve got and worth a shot. I’m not looking for your pity I’m just looking for my daughter. Please if you see her or even think you did shoot me a message.

        Thank you for your help my friends…D The Rockpile Ranter 

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rockpile Ranter and his family.  Hopefully, Naomi will be found safe and healthy very soon! 

 

OTHER STUFF…

Friday night saw the debut of new Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre.  That still sounds, and looks, weird.  He received a great ovation from the fans, but the performance was insignificant.  Favre went 1 for 4, with 4 yards, in the passing game before departing.  I wasn’t really expecting much for an exhibition game, but hopefully Favre will give the thousands of fans who have invested in purple #4 jerseys a chance to cheer for him during games rather than just before the games start.

 

Andy King/AP 

 

Of the other three QB’s on the roster, I have to think that Tavaris Jackson is the most likely to be holding a clipboard elsewhere.  I can’t envision the Vikings retention of four QB’s during the season, and in my opinion, they’d be foolish to cut or trade John David Booty who represents life beyond the Favre year(s).  Sage Rosenfels signed the contract extension with Minnesota following his acquisition from Houston, so I don’t really see him going anywhere.  So, by process of elimination, T-Jack would appear to the odd man out.  Regardless of what happens, I think the Vikings backup QB will see plenty of action this year.  To expect Favre to take every snap would be senseless and he’d benefit from the relief particularly later in the year when, hopefully, the Vikings will be charging for the play-offs.

 

Paul Battaglia/AP 

 

According to multiple reports, former Yankees slugger Jason Giambi is headed for Blake Street in LoDo.  The Colorado Rockies have apparently signed Giambi to add a bat for their drive to the NL play-offs.  There’s nothing like Coors Field to juice up a sagging bat, but of course, the move also means that Giambi would have to play the field.  So, the question is whether he can produce more runs than he gives up…

 

 

It was unfortunate to see the foul ball hit Johnny Damon’s knee on Friday night, but I am glad that it wasn’t worse.  He received treatment yesterday and will hopefully be back in action soon…possibly even today.

 

C.J. Gunther/EPA 

 

Well, Julia, let the game begin!  I’m ready.   The Yankees are ready.  Game on! 

A New Attitude…and a Few More Wins…

 

The Yankees won Friday night, thanks to the late game heroics of Mark Teixeira…

 

Ted S. Warren/AP

 

As a Yankees fan since the early 70’s, I have seen many highs and lows.  1998 was clearly a special year so excluding that year, this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons, so far, that I’ve experienced.  Granted, the Yanks may still fall short but the ride has been enjoyable as we near the stretch run.

 


Fun Ride.JPG 

 

The April woes of the bullpen, Cody Ransom as the starting third baseman, Chien-Ming Wang’s disastrous starts, among other things, are a forgotten memory…

 

 

I really thought that Jason Giambi would change the Yankees clubhouse with his personality when he joined the Yanks back in 2002.

 

 


JGiambi.JPG 

 

But it never happened, and the clubhouse remained very “corporate” as G changed his persona to fit the team.

 

Frederic Larson/AP

 

But along came Nick Swisher…

 

 

He is not a superstar.  He’s not going to lead the league in hits, average or home runs.  He’ll make some painful defensive plays to watch.  But at the end of the day, there is not another guy you’d want on your team.  He, along with A.J. Burnett and others, have successfully loosened up the Yankees clubhouse, and I think he is a big reason why the team is enjoying success this season. 

 

 

 

Friday night, the Yankees began a road trip in Seattle that will conclude with a three game set at Fenway Park beginning on Friday.  Andy Pettitte pitched another quality game but was gone before the outcome of the game was decided.  With a lead-off homer in the 9th, Mark Teixeira put the Yanks up by a run.  Nick Swisher added a RBI single, and the rest was left to Mariano Rivera.  In his 900th major league appearance, Mo got his 34th save in 35 chances.  I guess the “cranky” shoulder is in a better mood now!

 

 

Tonight, the Yanks are up 4-2 in the fifth.  Swisher has a home run, as the Yanks scored 4 unearned runs in the top of the second inning.

 

John Froschauer/AP

I’d like to say that I am confident, but not with Sergio Mitre on the mound…

 

Worried2.JPG

 

Meanwhile in Texas, unable to mount a comeback for a second day in a row, the Boston Red Sox lost to the Rangers, 7-2.  So, the Yanks have a chance to pick up another game on the Sox should they beat the Mariners tonight.  Hey Julia, are you back there?  I don’t seem to be able to see you anywhere.  Wait a minute!  That speck!  Is that you?  😉

 

 

I didn’t realize that Derek Jeter is on the verge of a major milestone.  The MLB record for hits by a shortstop is held by Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio (2,673).  After last night, DJ was just three hits shy.  He has a hit tonight, so he is just two away from tying Aparicio.  Congrats DJ!  Another record on your way to Cooperstown!  Very well done!

 

John Froschauer/AP

Congratulations to Julia of Julia’s Rants for her successful completion of the wager loss for last week’s Yankees-Red Sox series.   Due to the Yankees’ sweep, she had to:

1.      Post a pro-Yankees Top 11 List.

2.      Take photos of her car at various prominent locations in the Boston area…with a Yankees flag attached.

 

 

driveway2.jpg

http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

 

She did an excellent job with both.  So good, in fact, I think she should lose again next week just so we can see more of her creative side!

 

 

 

The Yankees will head for Oakland after Seattle, and I will be attending the second game of the series.  Like fine wine from Napa Valley, older players like Rivera and Jeter are aging very gracefully and the AL East leaders are showing they are the right vintage for success this year.  Hey guys, see you in Oakland! 

Go Yankees!

 

The Game That Wouldn’t End…

 

It was a masterpiece by A.J. Burnett…

 

Frank Franklin II/AP

 

Unfortunately, it was an equal masterpiece by Boston’s Josh Beckett, as the Yankees and Red Sox ended regulation play deadlocked at 0-0.

 

Bill Kostroun/AP 

 

A.J. went 7 2/3 innings and gave up only one hit.  He had 6 strikeouts, but also had 6 walks.  I guess he was watching Joba Chamberlain too closely last night.  Nevertheless, he did what he was paid to do.  He put his team in position to win, so there’s not more that you can ask.

Beckett went 7 innings, and gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts. 

But it became a game where neither team seemed to want to win.  Both teams left double-digit runners on base (Red Sox 10, Yankees 12).  As the game advanced into extra innings, neither team seriously threatened.  The Yankees would get a few runners, but then they’d be left stranded. 

The Red Sox, meanwhile, had some difficulty getting base runners but when they did, they failed to advance them like the Yankees.

The game seemed to drag on for hours (5 hours, 33 minutes to be exact).  My favorite comment of the night was by Peter Abraham of the LoHud Yankees Blog: 

UPDATE, 12:06 p.m.: This just in: Bill Clinton flying to the Bronx to negotiate the release of 48,262 people held hostage by this game.

Finally, in the bottom of the 15th inning, Derek Jeter singled to start the inning.  After Johnny Damon popped out on the foul side of first base and Mark Teixeira struck out, Alex Rodriguez came to the plate.  Much as been talked about A-Rod’s homerless streak, but with one swing of the bat, the streak, like the Yankees losing streak to the Sox a day earlier, became a distant memory.  A two-run homer to left gave the Yankees a walk-off win.  Yes, Julia, I was right about the walk-off…I just had the wrong inning!

 

Bill Kostroun/AP 

 

So, the Yankees have guaranteed that they will not lose this series.  So, it is now a question whether the Red Sox can win the final two games of the series to invoke the tie-breakers.  The Sox are certainly a capable team, but right now, this minute, I’d say ‘Advantage Scott!’.

 

John Munson/The Star Ledger

 

Here are the revised totals of the series so far:

 

RUNNING TOTALS  (8/06 – 8/09) FOR TIE-BREAKER:

Runs

Red Sox                                  6

Yankees                                  15

 

Home Runs

Red Sox                                  2

Yankees                                  5

 

Wins

Red Sox                                  0

Yankees                                  2

 

Winner:                                 T.B.D.

 

The Yankees, at 66-42, now lead the American League East by 4 ½ games over the Red Sox and 6 games over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Life is good for a Yankees fan…

 

Boston.com (Yankees fan Steve Macary)

 

A Very Busy Day…

It was a blood bath today in Major League Baseball.  A friend indicated that it felt like the Trading Deadline, but I’d have to say that I was quite surprised by the moves that were made.  Granted, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that John Smoltz’s time in the Red Sox starting rotation was nearing its end.  However, I did not expect that he’d be DFA’d.  I really thought that he would move into a long relief role, or perhaps help set up Jonathan Papelbon.  If this is truly it for Smoltz, I am saddened that his final appearance was a loss to the Yankees.  Well, the Yankees victory was nice, don’t get me wrong, but for Smoltz the man, he deserved better.  I always thought that he’d be the one to know when to exit the game.  Maybe he gets another chance, but then again, maybe not.  Either way, he is a class guy and I am honored that I had the privilege to watch him play.

 

Paul Bereswill/Getty Images 

 

Boston also DFA’d pitcher Billy Traber, a former Yankee or Oriole, who relieved Smoltz in yesterday’s game and, in Julia‘s words, took a bullet for the team to save the bullpen.   Of course, his thanks was a one-way ticket out of a Red Sox uniform.

 

File:AAAA8857 Billy Traber.jpg

Wikimedia Commons/UTC 

 

Another cut that caught me by surprise was the release of Jason Giambi by the Oakland A’s.  I had bought tickets for the Yankees visit to Oakland to play the A’s later this month, and I had been hopeful that Giambi would be off the DL and in the game.  But unfortunately, it was not meant to be.  Oakland released Giambi from the DL, due primarily to his .193 batting average.  I didn’t expect the A’s to pick up Giambi’s option this fall, but I never expected he’d be cut before the season was over.  He’s not a fit for the current Yankees roster, so coming back to New York will not be in the cards.  But hopefully, he’ll catch on somewhere so that he can go out his way.

 

Jason Giambi of the Oakland Athletics poses during photo day at the Athletics spring training complex on February 22, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jason Giambi

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 

Bill Kostroun/AP 

 

The American Idle, a/k/a Carl Pavano, was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Minnesota Twins.  I guess it was an admission by the Twins that they aren’t really interested in making the play-offs since they just acquired a guy who thrives in losing environments.  From Cleveland’s perspective, the deal makes sense since it opens a slot in the rotation for Justin Masterson who was recently acquired from Boston in the Victor Martinez trade.

 

AP

 

The Toronto Blue Jays attempted to push RF Alex Rios through waivers, but he was claimed by another team.  They now have to decide whether they’ll trade Rios to the other team if they can work out a trade or perhaps they just hang on to him.  It’s unlikely that they’d simply let Rios go to the other team for nothing.

 

 

Pitcher Vicente Padilla was also DFA’d by the Texas Rangers.  Ah, I feel so bad for the headhunter.  Um, not really…

 

 

On the bright side, the Yankees didn’t acquire another pitcher with a losing record and a plus 5.00 ERA to go with Chad Gaudin and Russ Ortiz so the day wasn’t a total loss…

GlassHalf.jpg image by sundayfunnies 

He Didn’t Mean To Do It…

Mark Melancon insists that he did not intentionally hit Boston’s Dustin Pedroia in Thursday’s game.  Personally, I liked Manager Joe Girardi’s explanation.  “Some pitchers are much more capable of throwing the ball exactly where they want to on a consistent basis. Those guys are called Hall of Famers.”

I do believe that it was unintentional.  Melancon is trying hard to earn a roster spot, and it would be foolish for him to risk his opportunity by purposely allowing a Boston base runner in a critical game regardless of the circumstances.

 

Kathy Willens/AP 

 

Finally…

Hey Julia, don’t look now but here comes Carsten Charles Sabathia…  J

 

IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** CC Sabathia 

 

Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

 

 

Fugetaboutit, It Was a Home Run!…

Brian Cashman, did I mention how much I appreciate the investment you made in A.J. Burnett?

The Yankees salvaged the final game of the four game series with the Cleveland Indians to settle for a split in the first series ever played at the new Yankee Stadium. Considering that the Yankees lost games of 10-2 and 22-4, taking 2 of 4 sounds like a fairly good deal.  The last time the Yankees gave up two big innings in a series like this, they were known as the New York Highlanders and it was 1907. 

Branch Rickey, who is best known as the Dodgers GM who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, was a left fielder on the team. 

The Sporting News

Jack Chesbro, who had won 41 games three years earlier, was winding down a great career.  San Jose’s own Hal Chase was the Yankees first baseman. 

Courtesy Hal Edward Chase III

Sunday brought the return of Carl “American Idle” Pavano, and he pitched the way he should have when he wore pinstripes. He pitched six innings, gave up 4 hits and 1 walk, and struck out 4. He turned over the game to the Cleveland bullpen, with a 3-1 lead. Fortunately, the Yankees rallied against the Tribe, thanks in large part to a disputed two-run pinch hit homer by Jorge Posada. The play represented the first time the officials used the video replay, but the upon review, the homer stood. The Indians had claimed fan interference.

Posada hits controversial HR in win

Newsday

A.J. Burnett had gotten into trouble earlier in the inning, when he loaded the bases with one out. A.J. struggled with his control today, walking 7 batters and throwing three wild pitches. But he kept the Yankees in the game, until he couldn’t go any further. Joe Girardi went to reliever Jonathan Albaladejo who did a great job in retiring the next two batters. Then, it was time for Posada’s heroics.

Cody Ransom (he’s still a toad) hit a three-run double in the 8th to provide the final margin of victory, 7-3. I am not quite sure why Shin-Soo Choo slowed up and let Ransom’s hit drop, but I’ll take it. Maybe the ghosts of The House That Ruth Built finally moved across the street after seeing Saturday’s debacle.

The game was closed out by the dynamic duo of Brian Bruney (8th) and Mariano Rivera (9th). It was not a save situation for Mo due to Ransom’s insurance runs. Albaladejo got the win (1-0).

A.J. Burnett may not have had his best stuff today, but again, he has proven he is a warrior and the guy knows how to pitch. I have great confidence when Burnett pitches. He may not get the decision and he might take the loss, but you know that he’s going to give it everything he’s got and clearly he’s nobody’s fool. The guy has heart, and the last guy who pitched like that in pinstripes (David Cone) had a memorable Yankees career.

David Cone after he pitched a perfect game against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999.

Reuters

The Yankees are in second place, 2.5 games behind the AL East Leader, the surprising Toronto Blue Jays. Julia‘s Red Sox are a half-game back, tied for third with the Baltimore Orioles.

Next up at Yankee Stadium is an old friend. Jason Giambi returns to the Bronx to check out the new Stadium with his team, the Oakland A’s.

Jason Giambi Picture

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

 

Nomar Garciaparra will be in tow. I think he’s played a meaningful game or two in the Bronx.

Speaking of old friends…well, maybe less emphasis on the “friends” part, congratulations to Randy Johnson for his stellar performance against his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a no-hitter into the 7th inning before giving up a double to Augie Ojeda. Johnson stranded Ojeda at third, and left the game after 7 innings. He gave up just one hit, Ojeda’s double, and struck out 7. It was Johnson’s first victory of the season (1-2) and the 296th of his career. As one who never minds seeing the D-Backs lose, congrats to the Big Unit for the vintage performance!

AP

I had told some Dodger friends that the Yankees would have a better record than their team by the end of week. The only problem? The Dodgers haven’t lost since. Yikes! Joe Torre and company continued their 8-game winning streak with a 14-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Manny Ramirez may be all that, but Matt Kemp is finally becoming the man for the Dodgers. Credit Donnie Baseball for his help in Kemp’s realization of his five-tool talent.

Getty Images

The Red Sox won. Bummer…

 

Just kidding, Julia!  🙂

Have a great week!

-Scott

He’s The Man…

Finally!

The third baseman that I now refer to as the “Thin Toad”¹ was finally benched.  Ramiro Pena replaced Cody Ransom at third base when the Yankees faced the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

¹During a spring training game in the late 90’s, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner labeled pitcher Hideki Irabu as a ‘fat puss-filled toad’ when Irabu failed to cover first base on a routine ground ball.

Other lineup changes included a day off for left fielder Johnny Damon.  Damon has been enduring a personal issue involving his mother, and has been weakened both mentally and physically.  Also going to the bench is DH Hideki Matsui, who has struggled out of the gate with a .125 batting average.

 

Catcher Jorge Posada moved to DH, while catching duties were handled by Jose Molina.  Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup at first base, while Nick Swisher moved to left field.

The moves left Swisher batting clean-up.  Whoa!  An ace reliever one night, and Babe Ruth the next!…

Swisher responded with his fourth home run of the young season.

Reuters

Meanwhile, what can I say about Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett?  He’s the stopper.  He’s the ace.  He’s the man…

 

The Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2.  It had been a pitcher’s duel until Derek Jeter’s three-run homer blew the game open in the 9th.  But the night belonged to the Man…

THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT

I have continued to follow the career of Jason Giambi, and will be a big fan of his so long as the Oakland A’s aren’t playing the New York Yankees.  ESPN.com has profiled Giambi’s workout regiment, and it is a must-read for anyone looking to lose a few pounds!

If you are looking to fit into that bikini or swimsuit, you might want to try the G-Workout!  Well, maybe not.  Too funny!

 

Goodnight, All!

–Scott